Today I want you guys to meet an amazingly talented and sweet animal lover, mom, business owner and blogger. This has kind of become the theme of this series and I love it. I’m amazed by today’s guest’s caring heart. Just read for yourself. I’m really excited about her post and my cats are too:
Hi there! I’m Jane, a mom to pets and a tiny human, and the owner of Janery, a handmade pet bed and home decor business. Before becoming a mom and full time business owner, I blogged more regularly about rental home design, DIY, and pets at The Borrowed Abode.
My pet story begins with my first dog, Charlie, who I found emaciated and hairless, living on the streets near my apartment. I was 22 and finishing college. Charlie instantly stole my heart, so she lived at the vet hospital where I worked until I found a rental that would allow a large Rottie/Pit Bull mix.
Charlie had a bullet in her leg, and I had to remove one of her eyes that had been been permanently injured before I rescued her. Later on, during Charlie’s knee surgery, we found a poorly healed fracture where bullets had gone through years before. It’s no wonder that Charlie was aggressive with strangers when I first brought her home. But her eagerness to please won out over her fear.
Soon Charlie could be trusted around everyone, including cats and babies. A few months later I found Merlin, a stray puppy born in the same rough neighborhood as Charlie. He tilted his head, cocked his ears forward, and my heart melted into a puddle as he looked at me with a blue and a brown eye. Almost instantly, Charlie took over mothering him.
Next I brought home a newborn kitten who required bottle feeding around the clock. Charlie again became “mom”. She held Aretha gently with one paw and licked her clean, and Aretha would snuggle into Charlie or Merlin’s belly to sleep.
To this day Aretha is comfortable with the dogs, but still terrified of all humans, except me.
Another cat, Doctor, joined my family a few years later. He instantly fit in with our other pets. I can’t imagine I’ll ever have another cat like him – he came when called, talked to me, and was glued to my side or lap at all times. When I worked on my computer Doctor would sit on my lap and watch the screen.
Then I met my husband! I know he was shocked when he found out I had such a zoo in a little apartment. But he passed the test and quickly accepted my pets as his own, though 8 years later he’s never been able to pet shy Aretha.
Two years ago we lost Charlie to a valiant battle with cancer. Eight months later cancer struck again, and we had to say goodbye to Doctor. Suddenly the house was very quiet when I worked from home.
Merlin was lonely, so even though we were about to have a baby, we adopted a young standard Poodle named Amber. When we heard the story of her rough first year, we knew we wanted to give her a happy new life. Amber fit right in with Merlin and Aretha – I’m convinced she thinks Aretha is just a tiny, delicate puppy.
And since our baby girl was born, Amber hasn’t left her side.
Amber even sleeps in the nursery when the baby is at daycare.
Until 6 years ago, I moved a lot. It was hard to find rental homes or apartments that would allow me to have my two cats and two large dogs. To landlords that sounds like a zoo, but I took pride in having a nice home and was careful to make sure my pets didn’t ruin it. The cats loved scratching the woven fabric on our Crate & Barrel sofa, so we had it reupholstered with distressed leather. Now we can snuggle with the dogs, and the fur and dirt just brush off. I also taught my dogs to only get on the furniture if they were invited up.
I save my window sills by teaching my dogs to use a step stool to look out the window, and I always kept a separate litter box for each cat to avoid territorial issues. Our current rental house has wall-to-wall carpet, so we steam clean regularly.
We keep the dogs well exercised with walks and hikes, which helps prevent behavior problems with a young and hyper Poodle!
Finally, I launched my pet bed business because I was tired of going through ugly dog beds that got lumpy in the wash. Charlie would sometimes leak urine onto her bed as she slept. After a lot of trial and error I created the Charlie Cushion, a pretty washable dog bed whose plush cushion is protected by a waterproof liner.
Since the birth of my baby, that business has become my full time job. I often think my life truly wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t started my pet family right out of college, and I hope my story can inspire others to take in the amazing animals that can be found in shelters and on the streets. Thank you, Julia, for letting me share my story here!
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Aren’t they just the most adorable family with the sweetest story? How about poor Charlie and all her bullet injuries!?!?! I’m so so happy that she found a loving home with Jane and was able to live the rest of her life loved and well taken care of.
Jane was also so sweet to send our kitties two of her handmade pet beds. To be specific they are the Merlin Mat and the Catnip cuddler in Dalmatian Spot.
Let me tell you when they arrived in the mail my cats were all over the catnip cuddler and actually got in a fight over it. Lilly and Lucy had to be seperated. They got over it after I let them all have a minute with it. So cute!
Lucy was having a blast with it.
Heidi is a little bit more chill about it. But at her age that’s no surprise is it?
The mat is perfect for on top of our sofa but I think she prefers it by the fireplace.
Before taking the photos I brushed her, but no matter how much I brush her she sheds non-stop. It’s gotten worse in her old age.
She certainly still looks beautiful for 21 years old with her pretty green eyes and white eyeliner.
Lilly cat was outside in the enclosure and didn’t want to come inside to partake in the photo session.
You can tell how much they love it and I do too because it matches my decor perfectly.
No go pay Jane a visit at the Janery, I know she’d really appreciate it. And I haven’t mentioned yet that she donates a portion of what she sells to homeless people and animals and you can read more about it HERE.
That’s it for today and have a great weekend.